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MIDWEST COMPUTER GENEALOGISTS 


_ NEWSLETTER _ 

www.mcgenealogists.org 

Volume XXIV_July, 2020_Number 7 


MCG CONTINUES 

Last fall, we were not able to find a Program Chair 
for MCG, and we decided that we should not 
continue to meet regularly. However, some of our 
members wanted to preserve this organization, and 
we decided to continue our newsletter publication. 
President A1 Morse had continued our Missouri 
state recognition until August, 2020, and we have 
continued to publish the newsletter. A1 will register 
MCG again next month for a 2 year extension. 

We are fortunate to have Julia Morse, Al’s cousin 
once removed, as a regular correspondent for this 
newsletter. In effect, for us, Julia has not been 
removed but has been a wonderful addition to this 
organization. She has created our website again, 
mcgenealogists.org, and she is preserving our 
newsletters and any contributions we may have for 
Archive.org. She is Asociate Professor at Kansas 
State University in Salina, but she has certainly 
also become a wonderful teacher for our family 
researchers. 

THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER 

A1 Morse 

I grew up in Rich Hill, Missouri with my folks, 
Albert Frank and Mildred Catherine (Janssens) 
Morse. They grew a large garden for several years. 
My brother, Carl, and I, from the time we were old 
enough, were in the garden. We helped Dad plant, 
weed, and harvest. I remember that my brother and 
I, for a few years, had to dig the potato crop, which 
took up about half of the garden. They were stored 
in a shed, and we used them all winter long. We 
helped Mom with canning beans. We helped cram 
the beans in the quart jars. Mom then added the 
boiling water and sealed the jars. They went into a 
canner for 3 hours. We ate on them all winter. She 
also was good at making sauerkraut. We also had a 


large sweet corn plot. For a couple of years I picked 
the ears, shucked them, and then sold them for 25 
cents a baker's dozen, that is 13 ears. Dad insisted 
that I do that. Mom started working as a cook at a 
restaurant and then later, was a cook, and eventually 
the head cook, at the school house. The school 
house housed all of the students of Rich Hill. My 
folks sold the garden lot and a house was built on it. 
This ended our gardening. Carl and I were happy. 

My grandparents, Clark Frank and Alma Dona 
(Miller) Morse, sold their farm about 1950, and 
moved to Rich Hill. Grandpa raised a large garden. 
After we got rid of our garden, we got fresh 
vegetables from our grandparents. They now lived 
one block from the school so Carl and I parked our 
bicycles at their house and walked to school. We 
visited with them every school day. 

When Dorothy and I bought our first house in 
Independence, Missouri in 1965, I told her that we 
could put a garden in the back yard. We put in a 
small garden. We planted lettuce, onions, and 
radishes for early spring salads. We did this for 
years. We later put in tomatoes and peppers. That 
was about all we could put in the garden. We also 
had an asparagus patch and a strawberry patch. We 
added two grape vines and three apple trees. 
Dorothy would make grape jelly. We would go to 
visit Dorothy's folks, Herbert Edgar and Dorothy 
(McDaniel) Newcomb. She had a large garden and 
shared green beans, sweet corn, squash, and other 
good vegetables. Our two sons always enjoyed 
visiting the farm and going for walks. 

When we retired in 1994, we bought one and a half 
acres from Dorothy's cousin, Shirley (West) and 
Billy Tippie. We had a double wide house put there, 
and we moved into it in October, 1994. We were 
about 5 miles west of Rich Hill. We then put in a 
large garden. We raised all kinds of vegetables. We 
started canning on a regular basis during the 


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summer. We started canning beans, tomatoes, and 
pickles. We also planted several berry bushes and 
grapes. We canned lots of jellies and jams. We also 
put in several fruit trees. We then dehydrated 
apples. We worked together on the canning and 
gardening. We also went for country walks. We 
picked morel mushrooms in the spring. We had a 
black walnut tree and cracked and picked the 
nutmeats. We kept busy and enjoyed it. But, 
because of health problems, we sold the property 
and moved back to our home in Independence in 
November, 2004. 

In 2008, we then bought a house and moved to 
Foxwood Springs, a retirement community in 
Raymore, Missouri. In 2009, I started gardening in 
the Foxwood Springs Community Garden. I have 
continued doing that every year since. We 
continued canning. 

We then started going down to the 80 acres from 
the fann that Dorothy 

grew up on. We picked gooseberries, blackberries, 
and plums. We enjoyed those trips, even though it 
was, sometimes, very hot and hard work picking 
some of those berries. We then started making 
jellies and jams with different fruits and vegetables. 
We did a 3-berry jam consisting of blackberries, 
blueberries, and raspberries. We did a blueberry and 
gooseberry jam we called blue-goose jam. We did a 
blackberry-raspberry jelly, which is now my 
favorite jelly. We tried and have continued to can 
jalapeno jelly. 

When we started canning, we, of course, used them 
for our purposes. But we also gave them away to 
family and friends. Here at Foxwood Springs, they 
used to hold a Fall Festival and we donated 7 to 8 
dozen jars of our canned goods. We also donated 
some to our church for their fall yard sale. After 
Dorothy's death, I have continued canning. She left 
me some very good notes. All I need to do is to 
follow them. It kind of reminds me of being a 
student in a college chemistry class. You need to 
measure very carefully. As I write this I am canning 
lime pickles. I have a very good cucumber crop this 
year. I hope that I can continue gardening and 
canning. 


THIS MONTH’S FAMILY RESEARCH 
TIPS AND RESOURCES 

Julia Morse 

Tip 1: “Frugal Genealogy Power Tips” from Lisa 
Lisson (of Are You My Cousin), presented in a 
mini video, https://youtube/3DcCtPNmEz0 :: 

(a) Always research with a plan. 

(b) Search for ancestors at free online sites. 

(See her list of 50 Free Genealogy Research 
Records and Websites: https://lisalisson.com/free- 
genealogy-websites/ . MCG also has a list of 
Favorite Free Family Research Tools, 
https://mcgenealogists.org/2020/03/01/favorite- 
free-research-tools/ 

(c) Watch for free access promos (For example, you 
can monitor the My Heritage blog, 
https://blog.myheritage.com/, for announcements of 
free access to certain resources.) 

(d) Trade look-ups with others (who may have paid 
access). 

Tip 2: Tag your family heirlooms so that others 
will know the significance of them after you are 
gone. The Family Curator (Denise May Levenick) 
provides worksheet forms and suggestions for 
recording the history of your heirloom histories: 

PDF printable:_ 

http://thefamilycurator.com/wp- 

content/uploads/2017/02/Heirloom HistoryForm.pdf 

DOC editable: http://thefamilycurator.com/wp- 
content/uploads/2012/10/HeirloomHistoryF orm 1 .do 

c 

Suggestions: https://thefamilycurator.com/treasure- 
che st-thurs day-writing-the-history-o f-your- 

heirloom/ 

Tip 3: Practical advice for working through a 
basement of someone's "stuff' to archive what is 
important: 

“Creating a Family Archive” by Joyce Whiting 
(18 minute video) 
https://youtube/90rAh7_pz4 


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FROM MARYLAND TO 
MISSOURI AND TEXAS 

Marjorie Slavens 

When in 1953, my mother asked her father, Edward 
Alonzo Welty, about the families of his parents, 
Henry Welty and Catharine Mary Eppright, he told 
her his father served in the Union Army during the 
Civil War and came from Lancaster County Ohio 
following the war, and his mother’s surname was 
Eppright. She did not leam much more about them 
until she began her family history research in the 
late 1970s. She and her family went to Jasper 
County to visit her grandmother in 1925 when she 
was 15, and she never met her grandfather. He came 
to see her when she was 6 months old, but she and 
her parents had gone to Asbury, Missouri to see her 
other grandparents that weekend. He died at the 
Federal Soldiers Home in Leavenworth a week 
after that attempted visit. What we know about the 
Welty and Eppright families is due to her 30 years 
of research. Henry Welty grew up on a farm near 
Bremen in Fairfield County, Ohio, and Lancaster 
was the county seat. 

Mother’s great great grandfather, Jacob Eppright, 
was bom in Maryland in 1783, but we were never 
able to detennine which of the Maryland Epprights 
was his father. “Jacob Eppright may have been the 
son of John Paul Eppright or John Eppright. He 
married Catherina Anamaria (Catherine) Wolf, who 
was bom in 1786. They lived in Washington 
County, Maryland, and they later moved to 
Jefferson County, Tennessee, in 1840, they were in 
Johnson County, Missouri. Jacob Eppright was a 
farmer and miller, and he and his family were 
members of the Lutheran Church. Jacob Eppright 
died in 1852, and was buried in a grape arbor on the 
farm. Catherine died September 20, 1866 in 
Johnson County, Missouri. She is buried in Pisgah 
Cemetery in Chilhowee Township, Johnson County, 
Missouri. Many of the Epprights in Johnson 
County, Missouri are buried in Pisgah Cemetery .” 

The Epprights had 13 children. Samuel, (born 
March, 1807, and Susanna, born January 11, 1808, 
were both baptized September 3, 1808 at Zion 
Luthern Church in Hagerstown, Maryland. Samuel 
apparently died when he was very young. Susanna 


went to Tennessee and Johnson County, Missouri 
with her family. She married Thomas Addison 
McSpadden in Jefferson County, Tennessee in 
1830. When Jacob died in 1852, His heirs were 
listed: “The heirs were his wife Catharine, and his 
children, George, Benjamin and Joseph Eppright of 
Johnson County, Missouri; Susan McSpadden and 
Anny (Sic) Combs of Johnson County, Missouri; 
Napoleon and Jonathan Eppright of Jasper County, 
Missouri; Isaac and David Eppright of Travis 
County, Texas; Jacob Eppright, Jr now in state of 
California, Polly Harris, now residing in Cass 
County, Missouri.” 

Mother’s great grandfather, Jonathan , was the 
fourth child of Jacob and Catharine. He lived in 
Indiana in 1838, where he married Edy Meadows. 
They moved to Jasper County, Missouri, and their 
second son, George, was the first white child born 
in Duval Township, Jasper County, in 1842. His 
brother, Napoleon, the fifth child, joined Jonathan 
in Jasper County. We found Napoleon’s house, part 
of which was from the original constmction along 
the Spring River. 

Jonathan and Edy Eppright had 7 children, and my 
great grandmother, Catharine Mary Eppright Welty, 
was their fourth child. My grandfather knew his 
mother’s family, but he told Mother nothing about 
them. He probably would have answered her 
questions if she had known what to ask. She was 
able to trace the descendants of Marion, Martha, 
John, Clarinda Ellen, and Marinda, and she visited 
the cemeteries where they were buried, but she was 
not able to contact any of their descendants. Most of 
them continued to live in Jasper County, but those 
to whom she wrote did not respond. 

Susanna Eppright McSpadden moved with her 
husband to Travis County, Texas after her father’s 
death, and her younger brothers, David (Child 6) 
and Isaac (child 9) were already living in Travis 
County, Texas at that time. Patricia Scott Gannan 
of Escondido, California, a descendant of Susanna 
Eppright McSpadden, and Mother both struggled to 
find information about the family. 

George (Child 10, Benjamin (11), and Joseph 13) 
continued to live in Johnson County, Missouri. 
After writing many letters trying to trace the family, 


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Mother Met descendants of George in Warrensburg 
and attended several family gatherings with them in 
the 1990s. 

WAYS WE SLEUTHED STORIES 
FROM A 1918 PHOTO ALBUM 

Julia Morse 

A family recently donated a 1918 photo album to 
the Windsor (Missouri) Historical Society. Its 
creator was A. Elwell Crissey, a 1918 graduate of 
Windsor High School, who had assembled the 
album from photographs he had taken during his 
senior year of high school and early college days. 

Glynna Morse, a volunteer researcher and writer for 
the Windsor Historical Society, was excited to 
recognize photographs of many Windsor-area sites 
that were missing from the Historical Society’s 
collection. In particular, she had been doing 
research on a picnic grounds that had been popular 
among Windsor-area residents in the latter 1800’s 
and early 1900’s and had been lamenting that they 
had no photographs of it—but they do now! 

The album also presents scenes of various World 
War I fundraising events and military student 
exercises. Photos from his graduating class and 
teachers at the Windsor High School are also 
valuable to the Historical Society school-related 
collections, as this was the time before high school 
had year books. 

This is the first lesson from the Elwell Crissey 
Photo Album: Local historical museums or 

libraries might be delighted with your family album 
or artifacts. Even if you do have a family curator 
and your family is not ready to part with the album, 
when you digitize that album, consider sharing it 
with museum or library of interest, or contributing 
it to a free digital library such as Internet Archive or 
Allen County Public Library. 

The second lesson from the Elwell Crissey Photo 
Album was that it was easier than we had expected 
to sleuth out stories from the uncaptioned photos. 

Have you ever found yourself leafing for the first 
time through an old family album which had no 


captions and no narrator left to tell the stories? It is 
an experience of mixed emotions. One is so excited 
to open this door to views previously unseen, 
thankful for this treasure, but also left a little 
heartsore realizing that it raises more questions than 
it answers. One of my grandmothers left an album 
filled with studio portraits from the latter 1800’s, 
almost none of them captioned. We can recognize 
her among her sisters, but there are so many other 
people in the album who are yet unidentified to us. 

However, we computer genealogists are not left 
without our tools for discovery! The Crissey album 
was filled with scenes that set the stage. Spurred by 
curiousity, we employed the following methods to 
sleuth out more of the stories beneath the 
photographs. Most of these tips are fairly obvious, 
but it was surprising the depth of infonnation we 
were able to reveal: 

Tip 1: Interview the source. Get as much 
information as you can from the source of the 
album. In this case, a descendant of the 
photographer donated the album and provided some 
information on Elwell Crissey, and we were able to 
do further research to fill in the gaps. 

Tip 2: Interview others from the family or region 
who might recognize people or scenes. In this case, 
Glynna Elliott Morse, a lifelong resident of 
Windsor, as well as a local historian well- 
acquainted with other known historical photos of 
the area, was able to identify many of the locations 
in the background of the photos. She also knew 
other individuals who might remember and 
recognize details of local businesses, landmarks, or 
families. 

In the case of an album in your family, sharing the 
album with other branches of the family may lead 
to new information. For example, there could be 
photos of visiting family in the album that were not 
often seen and known by your line. Or that branch 
of the family may have their own photos for 
comparison. One strong reason for sharing your 
family history photos online is that it allows others 
to find and connect. Some stories of “long lost 
relatives” (such as DNA matches or other suspected 
family branches) confirm their connection by 
finding that they each have a copy of the same old 


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photo. The capabilities of attaching photos to 
genealogy records in databases such as My Heritage 
or Ancestry is making it easier to share these photos 
and discover unknown photos from the collections 
of others. 

Tip 3: Note the arrangement of the photos and 
other items in the album to gather information on 
chronology or event grouping. The arrangement is 
often chronological or grouped by themes. The 
context and story of one photo is often elucidated 
by a surrounding photo, or the time period in which 
the surrounding photos occurred. (This is a strong 
argument for retaining the album as much as 
possible in the state in which the original creator 
built it—not disassembling it.) 

We were able to identify the general date and 
context of many photos in the Chrissey album due 
to the clear chronological arrangement. For 
example, all the State Fair photos were together. If 
they had not been in the album, some of those 
photos would have not been understood to belong to 
that group. The arrangement clearly distinguished 
high school gatherings from college photos. 

Tip 4: Form hypotheses concerning occasions, 
locations, and relations, then research them for 
comparison. 

Tip 5: Compare photos which involve recurring 
individuals and groups. This can assist in forming 
hypotheses. Photos in the countryside with 
repeated appearance of the same people suggest a 
group excursion and either friends or possibly 
visiting relatives. Multiple people wearing the 
same clothing suggests photos likely taken the same 
day and allows us to focus on possible locations 
from different photos that might have been taken in 
the same general area. 

Tip 6: Unleash the power of high-resolution photo 
scanning. This is the ultimate power-tip. It is 
amazing how much detail a 600 dpi scan of a photo 
can provide when you zoom in. In this way we were 
able to zoom in on signs on buildings and details of 
distant buildings and objects which can help in 
identification of the location. We even zoomed in 
on tables set out in a college lawn event to see what 
people were doing or eating there. 


We had hypothesized that a railroad tressle was part 
of the MKT railyard in Windsor, but after zooming 
in digitally, it was recognized instead to be a part of 
the Bowen Coal Mine. Cityscapes which we had 
supposed were probably in a visit to St. Louis 
turned out to be the Emery Bird Thayer Dry Goods 
store and the Westgate hotel, both in Kansas City. 

A word of caution: Do your research before 
submitting an old photo album to the stresses of a 
flatbed scanner. Although flatbed scans are thought 
to typically yield the most consistent quality scans, 
the necessary handling of pages, bending and 
pressure at the spine, and the feat of turning and 
holding the album upside down all add up to wear 
and damage. Alternative options should be 
considered. There are multiple methods and aps for 
digitizing albums and scrapbooks with mobile 
devices or quality digital cameras, though these 
result in varying levels of quality. Some libraries 
provide document cameras which can yield good 
photo-captures of pages with less stress on the 
album. (This is also a good option for albums with 
oversized pages.) In many cases, a post-bound 
album can be carefully disassembled to scan single 
pages, then reassembled. (Be careful to keep pages 
in order!) This prevents the stress of bending pages 
at the spine. 

Tip 7: Use digitized historic newspapers and other 
resources to check for more information on details 
and events at that time and place. 

In the high resolution scan of a photo a WWI ta nk 
demonstration, we zoomed in to discern the names 
on the sign above a town store “Denny and Trau.” 

A newspaper search yielded a mention of “Denny 
and Trau” hardware store located in Fayette, 
Missouri, where Elwell Crissey attended college, 
thus confirming the location of the town scene. 

A photo of a biplane in a field was among a series 
of summer photos in Windsor. Glynna knew that a 
member of the Bowen family was the first plane 
owners in Windsor, so we searched the Windsor 
paper for infonnation that might confirm our 
hypothesis that this was the Bowen plane. One 
newspaper article indicated that the Bowen plane 
probably was not purchased until a few years after 
this photo. Instead, searching Windsor newspaper 


5 



items during that summer we found note of a 
military airplane exhibition as part of the Chatauqua 
events. Rechecking the order of the photographs 
confirmed that these photos were adjacent to the 
Chatauqua photos. 

Remember those State Fair photos? The Windsor 
Review newspaper tells us that Crissey won first 
prize at the 1918 Missouri State Fair that year for 
amateur photography, best collection of state fair 
views. 

Newspaper searches also yielded several articles 
that clarified events in Elwell Crissey’s life as he 
was taking these photos. Fie had many photos of 
the Student Army Training Corps doing exercises at 
Central College in Fayette. We had assumed that 
he was part of the Corps (which provided young 
men’s tuition and uniform, plus $30 per month). 
However, the Windsor paper clarified that he had 
not qualified for the Corps and had instead funded 
his education by working in a grocery store, as well 
as entering and winning multiple essay contests. 
This explains why he was able to photograph the 
WWI military training exercises. Another photo 
among the college scenes may be of people he 
worked with in the local grocery, although the store 
window signs do not quite confirm whether it is a 
grocery. 

All these are small details, most of which seem 
unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but they 
add up to provide a richness of story and 
explanation behind the photographs. 

I have used the Crissey Photo Album as an 
opportunity to research old photo album digitization 
and preservation. I am in the process of converting 
the page scans to digital format for Internet sharing. 
In a future article, I will share information and 
suggestions from that experience which we all can 
use in digitizing our own family albums. In the 
mean time, you might check out some resources on 
this topic from our MCG webpage, “Preserving 
Your History for Future Generations,” 
https://mcgenealogists.org/2020/03/Q8/preserving- 

your-history/ . 


NEW BOOK BY 
RAFINER 

MCG President A1 Morse recently received a note 
and copy of a new book by Tom A. Rafiner. Tom 
and A1 have traveled together, and A1 was able to 
show Tom some of the historical places in Bates 
County. Tom has been a frequent speaker at MCG 
meetings, and we wish we could schedule a meeting 
to hear from him about his new book, R. L. Y. 
Peyton: An American Journey, 1824-1863. 

Tom is the author of Caught Between Three Fires 
and Cinders and Silence. “R. L. Y. Peyton's journey 
from obscurity to the national stage and then to 
oblivion, is as unlikely as it is incredible. Bom into 
the cavalier Virginia gentry, Lud’s family migrated 
to Oxford, Ohio. He attended Miami University 
before getting a law degree at the University of 
Virginia. For 10 years, he practiced frontier law in 
Harrisonville, Mo. Suddenly in 1854, inflamed by 
the Kansas - Nebraska Act Lud exploded onto the 
political stage. He represented western Missouri in 
the state senate, helped trigger secession and then 
served in the C.S.A. Senate. He died from malaria 
in Alabama in 1863. Peyton's journey is uniquely 
American, his life narrating Missouri's, and the 
country's, ante-bellum history." 

"This hardback biography contains 419 narrative 
pages, 25 original maps, 85 photographs, twenty 
(20) newspaper clippings, and three original 
illustrations illuminate his life." 

Learn more at https://www.tomrafiner.com/product- 
page/r-l-y-peyton-an-american-j oumey-1824-1863. 


OFFICERS 

A1 Morse, President 

Byron Gilbreath, Treasurer 

Marjorie Slavens, Newsletter Editor 

Julia Morse, Website Administrator, Digital 

Librarian 


For a sampling of some of Elwell Crissey’s 1918 
photos, check out the MCG website. 


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